Escape with a feel-good romance that will warm your heart! Read an exclusive extract from Rachel Dove’s gorgeous new book, The Forever House, available here.
The groom, looking resplendent in a hand-stitched Italian ivory suit, complete with gold waistcoat and elegant gilded cravat, was misty-eyed as he heard the impressive ornate wood doors open at the back of the beautifully arranged church. The pews, matching him with ivory flowers and golden bows festooned on the end of each aisle, were full of expectant guests, their eyes on the same spot. As he turned, catching sight of his bride, the tears began unabated, as a collective ‘aaah’ rang out amongst the couple’s nearest and dearest.
Wearing an original heart neckline ivory dress, from the collection at Boothroyd Bridal, York, and followed by her niece Tilly, a flower girl dressed in a gold floaty dress, and bridesmaids in the form of four of the bride’s nursing colleagues, all eyes were on the beautiful bride. As she walked down the aisle, the groom shed a single tear, viewing the woman he was about to pledge his life to, forever . . .
‘Jesus Christ, Emily, it’s a wedding announcement, not a bloody Harlequin romance. He’s probably already shagged half the bridesmaids!’
Emily rolled her green eyes and shoved her mate and long-time colleague Beth away from her cynical perch, which was currently over her shoulder, peering at and mocking the words she was typing onto her computer screen.
‘Sod off, Beth! You wouldn’t know a Harlequin romance if it hit you in the face, so stop bashing it. And where did you come from? You’re like the bloody grim reaper, popping up and scaring the crap out of me every five minutes!’ She thrust an elbow out at her annoying friend and heard a satisfying screech as she connected with soft flesh. No one else in their screen-divided beige office battered an eyelid at them.
‘Ahh!’ Beth reeled back as Emily turned on her swivel chair behind her. Beth held a hand at her right rather voluptuous boob, giving it a rub as if she were trying to get a genie to come forth and grant all her wishes. ‘Leave Kendra out of it!’
‘You are so strange,’ Emily retorted as Beth sat down at her desk, which was directly behind Emily’s. ‘And don’t name your tits. I told you, it’s just weird.’
‘Well, my Dave would disagree, wouldn’t he, Kendra?’
‘Kendra and Kendall are downright weird names for your breasts if you ask me. And you’ve ruined Kendal mint cake for me forever.’
Beth cackled like a witch, scooting her chair back under her desk.
‘Good, it tastes like foot cream anyway. Are you really going to submit that sentimental clap-trap? Joanna will never go for it, you know; she never does.’
Emily turned back to her screen, puffing her dark brown fringe out of her face.
‘I know, but she said if I upped my game for the next couple of months, she might consider me for the features section again. I can’t write weddings forever. I know you love writing obituaries like the Queen of Darkness, but I don’t want to be still doing this when I’m forty. And we still have to run the rest of the advertising section; I’m writing copy for sunbeds and second-hand cots half the time.’
‘I know, forty and still not married. That just smacks of Miss Havisham. I can imagine you going full 27 Dresses soon, what with all your work outfits.’
‘Shurrup, I will be married by then. Besides, a modern woman doesn’t need a man. Or a ring. It’s not a prerequisite to being happy, you know.’
She heard Beth’s squeaky chair swivel back into her direction, and she turned to see a pitying look on her colleague’s perfectly made-up face.
‘Oh really? Just realised that, did you? Did Tim finally set the date then?’
‘Well . . . no, but we did talk about maybe looking at our diaries . . .’
Beth’s unimpressed face said it all.